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Where Is Whole-Home Audio Headed?

Smart devices, streaming and virtual reality push market forward 2/17/2017 10:30:00 AM Eastern

The rapid rise of the connected smart home is turning up the dial on the whole-home audio market.

Driven by the popularity of streaming entertainment and the promise of virtual reality technology, the global market for home audio equipment is expected to reach $20.4 billion by 2022. In the U.S., estimates put the number of homes using smart technologies in the U.S. rising to 60 percent over the same timeframe.

Interoperability is key to fully realizing the whole-home market’s potential. With its wireless Play-Fi platform, DTS has built an infrastructure that melds immersive home theater audio with connected, smart home devices into a whole-home ecosystem with more than 20 licensed partners and 200 interoperable products available.

“We’ve put a substantial amount of resources in making our apps a great user experience across all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows and Kindle Fire," said Geir Skaaden, chief products and services officer at Tessera Holding Corporation, parent company of DTS.

"Most importantly, dealers have seen our commitment to continuously improve the technology over the years with hi-res audio, surround sound, AV synchronization and an always-growing roster of music services."

DTS is leading efforts through Play-Fi to cater to evolving market technologies such as high-resolution audio and emerging virtual reality and augmented virtual reality. The platform now offers support for 24-bit, 192 kHz audio with on-the-fly transcoding for multi-room convenience without causing network congestion.

Newly expanded Headphone:X technology allows listeners to access an enhanced surround soundscape for VR cinema and 360 video created through multi-channel mixes.

“Today, many 360 videos available for viewing lack the spatial audio cues that keep the listener from experiencing the story as the creator designed it,” said Skaaden. “When using standard ‘inside the head’ two-channel stereo sound, the listener is left ‘hunting’ for the visual counterpart to the audio element. DTS Headphone:X for VR solves this problem with accurate 3D spatial audio rendering to properly point them into the direction the story intends.”

DTS Virtual:X, a spatial audio processing technology that alters perception of sound to make it seemingly “appear” anywhere in the 360-degree experience, bridges the gap between typical consumer home entertainment setups and immersive movie content such as Blu-Ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-Ray. The new technology, available in AVRs in 2018—but possibly available in firmware updates later in 2017—allows clients to enhance performance of existing systems.

Learn more about the DTS Play-Fi platform at


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